Editorial: Claire Murray, selflessly10/12/2021 11:11AM ● By Richard Gaw
Over the past two decades, the rebirth of the Kennett Square Borough has drawn the attention of national publications both in print and online, who rank Kennett Square among America’s top small towns, and for reasons that are seen, felt, heard and burnished into the fabric of the entire community.
Catapulting the little borough into the stratosphere of regional, state and national attention required the vision of Kennett Square illuminaries who are for the purposes of this editorial too frequent to name. Yet, it was their sketchpad diligence and collaboration, drawn many years ago, that has transformed the borough into a wellspring of economic opportunity, seen in the arm lock of spirit and progress among its many organizations and agencies; the commitment of many to recognize the vitality and diversity of its neighborhoods, people and cultures; the breadth of its expanding school district; its soon-to-be- new Kennett Library; the genius of Longwood Gardens; and the steady assurance of its hallowed traditions.
From agency to agency, business to business, school to school, Kennett Square is a wheel in constant spin, and the most spectacular aspect of this movement is that it is pushed forward not by the colossal giants of industry but by all of the quiet foot soldiers of its heart and soul.
For the past eight years, Historic Kennett Square Community Engagement Manager Claire Murray has been one of those quiet soldiers, and the imprint of her work has been seen everywhere: the KSQ Farmers Market; Third Thursdays on State Street; at miniature golf courses that invite various youth groups; the Evening of the Arts and various pop-up arts tours; the Kennett Brewfest and the Kennett Winterfest; the Holiday Village Market and the annual Christmas celebration in Kennett Square; with the Southern Chester County Opportunity Network, and at other events and collaborations too long to mention.
For Murray, who will be leaving her position soon, her imprint on these events have helped to earn Kennett Square the local, regional and national praise that it has so richly deserved.
In a recent press release from Historic Kennett Square announcing Claire’s soon-to-be departure, it said of Claire’s ability to bring the people of Kennett Square together, “Much of what goes into those kinds of collaborations isn’t as visible or tangible as a mini-golf course. Relationships of trust and mutuality are fertile soil for the seeds of creativity that blossom into these kinds of programs and events.”
For the past eight years, Claire Murray has been everywhere in Kennett Square. From facilitating events to the common purpose of linking people to people, she has been a selfless placemaker of opportunities, fun and engagement for this borough, and has earned the ultimate respect of her colleagues as well as from the editorial staff of this newspaper.
It is because of Claire’s spirit of collaboration – and the beautiful and lasting strength of the tendrils that have been formed because of it – that the Chester County Press congratulates her on her accomplishments.